25. In the case of multi-parish benefices the needs of parishes in the benefice that have not passed a resolution should be weighed alongside those of any parish that has when decisions are taken about appointments to the benefice.

 

Note that paragraph 25 refers to ‘appointments to the benefice’, not ministry within the benefice. What is contemplated here is that, when it comes to appointing an incumbent or priest-in -charge, the needs of parishes that pass a Resolution and the needs of parishes that do not pass a Resolution are weighed. With regard to ministry within a parish that has passed a Resolution, the Resolution will stand and those responsible are charged with finding a way of giving effect to it.

 

The House of Bishops’ Guidance Note says ‘The aim should be to explore options that will avoid, on the one hand, a single parish being able to frustrate the wishes of the others in the benefice and, on the other, that parish being denied the pastoral and sacramental provision that the PCC has sought.’ Thus, the House of Bishops contemplates a situation where the incumbent or priest-in-charge of a multi-parish benefice cannot exercise priestly ministry within a parish in that benefice (just as the diocesan bishop may be unable to exercise episcopal ministry within that parish).